News | Distracted Driving

Driven to Distraction: New Data Highlights Worsening Distracted Driving Behaviors

It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Cambridge Mobile Telematics has released new data, stacking up the top distracted U.S. cities
April 2, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the world’s leading smartphone-centric telematics provider, has announced its most recent findings on distracted driving. The data collected from more than 65 million trips over the last six months revealed distracted driving occurred during 36.1 percent of trips nationwide, up five percent from last year.

CMT’s smartphone app collects data and provides actionable insights for drivers to improve their on-the-road performance by measuring five driving behaviors: phone use while driving, at-risk speeding, hard braking, harsh acceleration and cornering. The most recent data collected showed several patterns of distracted behavior, including:

  • The evening commute has the greatest amount of distraction, with 38 percent of trips exhibiting distracted driving behavior between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Most distractions occur at speeds of 30 – 40 miles per hour.
  • Drivers spend more time distracted on local roads (57 percent of the time) versus on highways (43 percent of time).
  • The average length of distraction time per trip was 2.67 seconds per mile.

This year, CMT also compared distracted driving behaviors across the U.S., analyzing eight specific cities – Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco. All exhibited more than the national average of time spent distracted while driving with an average of 11 percent more time distracted per trip (the national average is 36.1 percent). The study also found:

  • Houston and Philadelphia had the highest percentage of trips with distraction with 39.99 percent and 39.97 percent, respectively.
  • Philadelphia (3.77 seconds), Boston (3.4 seconds) and Washington D.C. (3.39 seconds) had the longest average length of distraction time per mile.
  • New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the only cities that came in under the national average of trips with distraction, with 32.9 percent of trips, 33 percent and 33.4 percent, respectively.

“Distracted Driving Awareness Month aims to highlight the epidemic of technology-related distraction that plagues drivers across the United States,” said Hari Balakrishnan, Chief Technology Officer of CMT. “In addition to raising awareness, we need to work together to change this driving behavior, effectively kicking the distraction habit and making our roads safer.”

Visit for a new infographic from CMT highlighting the dangers of distracted driving.

To learn more about the complete telematics and behavioral analytics solution, visit

About Cambridge Mobile Telematics
Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) makes roads and drivers safer around the world. Founded in 2010 by two MIT professors and experienced entrepreneurs, CMT pioneered telematics for behavior-based insurance (BBI) and deployed the first solution to provide both traditional vehicle-centric UBI and BBI. With over 35 customers in 20 countries, CMT has a proven record of changing driver behavior: an average reduction of 35 percent in phone distraction, 20 percent in hard braking, and 20 percent in at-risk speeding all within less than 30 days of using the program. For more information, please visit and follow on Twitter @cmtelematics.

Corporate Ink for Cambridge Mobile Telematics
Kate Bachman, +1 617-969-9192